The No. 4 Minnesota Golden Gophers head to the east coast to take part in the Inaugural Matt Mayhem National Duals. Minnesota has been put in the Rutgers Regional along with Michigan, Missouri, Kent State, Rutgers and Cal Poly.
NATIONAL DUALS Each team has been seeded from the NWCA latest Rankings. The Gophers have been selected as the No.1 overall seed. Michigan will be the No.2 seed and they will receive a first-round by with Minnesota. Missouri is the No. 3 seed, followed by Kent State, Rutgers and Cal Poly.
Minnesota will face the winner of the Rutgers and Kent State dual at 3 p.m. CST. Michigan will take on the winner of Missouri and Cal Poly at the same time. The winners from the 3 p.m. dual will sqaure off for the Rutgers Regional Title at 5 p.m. and the winner will advance to next weekend's National Duals Final Four.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE DUALS Check gophersports.com for a live blog of the Gophers duals this weekend. A link will be posted Saturday morning. You can also get results via facebook and twitter.
RVision will be carrying any Rutgers match in the first two rounds and the championship final, no matter which two schools are wrestling in it. You can access the broadcasts for free on ScarletKnights.com.
LAST TIME OUT Minnesota defeated Nebraska 26-7 this past Sunday to clinch the Big Ten Dual title for the regular season. Both the Gophers and Penn State each finished the season 7-1 in the duals. There is no tiebreaker to crown one champion.
NEXT WEEKEND Minnesota has put in a bid to host the first ever National Duals Final Four. An announcement will be made on Sunday following each regional final.
The final four would be held on Sunday Feb. 19 at Williams Arena.
A LOOK AT RUTGERS Rutgers (12-6) enters the National Duals losing four of its last five matches. Mario Mason is 17-1 at 149 while Greg Zannetti (23-3 at 174) and Scott Winston (17-4 at 165) highlight the host school.
A LOOK AT KENT STATE The Golden Flashes finished the season 12-4 and were crowned Mid-American Conference (MAC) Dual champions. Kent State is led by All-American Nic Bedelyon (25-2 at 125 pounds) and have seven other starters with at least 20 victories each.
Minnesota leads the all-time series against the Golden Flashes 4-0. The last time both clubs met was back in 1984 where the Gophers won 23-15 at the Huskie Tournament at Northern Illinois.
A LOOK AT MICHIGAN Michigan is currently 6-5 overall and have lost their last two duals (Ohio State and Penn State) to close out their Big Ten season. The Wolverines have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20 including No. 1 Kellen Russell at 141 lbs. Minnesota defeated Michigan earlier this month 23-15 in Minneapolis. Michigan leads the all-time series 30-28-2.
A LOOK AT MISSOURI The Gophers and Tigers last faced each other in 2009, when Minnesota pulled out the 15-14 victory. Minnesota leads the all-time series 9-1. The Tigers are 12-3 this season as their losses have come against Oklahoma, Kent State and Oklahoma State.
A LOOK AT CAL POLY The Mustangs of Cal Poly enter the Rutgers Regional with a record of 5-6 on the year. Minnesota and Cal Poly last met in 2007 when the Gophers picked up a 23-12 win. The all-time series is tied at 1-1.
THREE GOPHERS FINISHED PERFECT IN B1G Freshman 174 pounder Logan Storley (7-0), redshirt sophomore 184 pounder Kevin Steinhaus (8-0) and redshirt sophomore Hwt. Tony Nelson (9-0) all finished with a perfect Big Ten dual record this season.
MAJOR STEINHAUS IN THE HOUSE Redshirt Sophomore Kevin Steinhaus is currently No. 7 in the country at 184 lbs. Steinhaus has won his last five of six matches by a major decesion. He has scored 76 points in the five victories and has only given up 28 to his opponents.
12th ALL-TIME Zach Sanders is 12th all-time on the Gophers wins list. He passed Willy Short with his 19-9 major decesion over Michigan's Mike Pizzo earlier this season. His overall record is 123-14 and he is four wins away from breaking assistant coach Luke Becker's (126-29-0) all-time record.
STORLEY STORM True freshman Logan Storley continued his hot streak against Wisconsin last Sunday with a 5-3 victory over the Huskers Tyler Koehn. Storley is ranked No.6 in the country by InterMat and has an overall record of 19-3.
NELSON'S BAKERS DOZEN Heavyweight Tony Nelson is No. 4 in the country with a record of 20-2 overall. He currently has won 13 straight matches including a championship at the Southern Scuffle.
STEINHAUS PRIMETIME PERFOMER OF THE WEEK With the 3-2 win on Sunday against Nebraska's Josh Ihnen, Steinhaus was named CollegeSports360 Primetime Performer of the Week.
FOUR ALL-AMERICAN CAPTAINS The four returning All-Americans from last season have been named as team captains for the 2011-12 season. Zach Sanders is joined by fellow senior Sonny Yohn and sophomores Kevin Steinhaus and Tony Nelson to guide the team. At the NCAA Championships last season Sanders finished 5th (125 lbs.), Yohn 7th (197 lbs.), Steinhaus 8th (184 lbs.) and Nelson 7th (Hwt.)
DEITCHLER CAREER OVER As of Jan. 4 redshirt sophomore and former US Olympian Jake Deitchler will no longer be competing for the Gopher wrestling program due to his history with concussions that have dated back since he was 7-years old. Deitchler will still be a member of the team and will continue his education at the University of Minnesota.
BAND OF BROTHERS This season on the Gopher roster there are three sets of brothers who are wearing the Maroon and Gold. Redshirt freshman twins Chris and Nick Dardanes are the youngest set of brothers on the team. Two other sets, who are not twins are the Yohn brothers (Cody and Sonny) and the Zilverberg's (Danny and David). Danny is a redshirt sophomore, while Cody is a redshirt junior and both David and Sonny are redshirt seniors.
J IS EIGHT FROM TYING WALLY Head coach J Robinson's record at Minnesota is 384-129-4, in his 26th season. Robinson is only eight dual wins away from tying Wally Johnson, on the all-time wins list.
GOPHERS INNER CIRCLE Make sure to check out the Minnesota Wrestling Blog (Gophers Inner Circle) for news, features, videos etc.